I was working one day at my job as a cashier in a sporting goods store, talking and just being friendly with a customer when, before leaving, she turned back to me and said, “I see Jesus in you.”
I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. Her statement not only warmed my heart, but it got me to thinking: What did she notice? My definition of worship has always been: living a life of love and light for him. I believe Jesus gave me that moment to encourage me to keep living that life of worship and to keep shining bright for him.
I didn’t always feel this way. My understanding of worship has developed as I’ve matured in my faith. As I’ve grown and served more in the church, I’ve come to realize that worship is not just singing praise songs and teaching children’s church; worship is wholeheartedly living the life God gave me. Worship is my response to God and him living in me.
For example: While I’ve always believed it is important to walk arm in arm with our Creator, because he is the reason we exist, it took me a while to realize that when I’m enjoying creation, I’m worshipping. It’s more than just enjoying a beautiful view; it’s realizing a Creator who loves me created the view for my enjoyment. When I think about this, I worship.
I’ve come to understand that the root of worship is love. Because he loves me, I want to respond in love to him. When I do, I am worshipping. This is what the apostle said in 1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.” Love (worship) is our normal reaction. When I love God with my actions and words, I am praising him and pointing my life to him. Francis Chan puts it wonderfully, “Our point in life is to point to him.” I want my life to be completely lost in him—this is how I worship. And because my worship is a reflection of my love, my worship becomes visible to those around me. And sometimes that visibility brings out a response, like the customer at the store.
Her response reminded me that others notice how I treat them. The way I treat others is not only an aspect of my worship, it is also a reflection of the one I worship. So what I exude by my personality is a form of my worship to God.
Worship is also expressing myself in gratitude to my Savior. In the life I have been gifted, I continue to try my best to spread his light and learn from him—whether it is reading a devotional and being open to his will, praying with and for people in my life, or connecting with praise song lyrics that refocus my mind on the important parts of life. When I sing or think about praise songs in the car, in my head, at work, while painting and anywhere else in between, I am reflecting the one who gave me life—that is worship.
My worship affects my relationships with others. If God is the glue in my relations, then he is being honored and glorified. My best friend and I almost always pray for each other after we hang out and before we go our separate ways. In looking to God and seeking his will, we are thanking him for our lives and for the relationship we share. Because we know he is part of our relationship, our gratitude for our friendship is worship.
It’s amazing how easy it is to worship. When I invite God into my mind, heart and life—and seek his presence in my daily activities and relationships—worship is as simple as choosing to live for him and live and loving others as he lives and loves. I love living a life of worship and knowing God wants to share in my day. I often ask, God, how do you want me to share your love today? In other words, how can I live in worship?
God’s plans are far greater than we could ever imagine. He knows all the pieces to our life puzzle; like how a customer’s encouraging words echo in my mind to this day, and contributed to my perspective on what a worship-filled life looks like.
Photos provided by Jessica Morgan